David Nelley joins Apeel Sciences

The list of big names in fresh produce who have joined Goleta, CA-based Apeel Sciences BB #:345580  just added another.

David Nelley, previously Vice President of Categories and Global Exports for The Oppenheimer Group BB #:116242, Vancouver, BC, is Apeel’s new Vice President of Domestic Buyer Relations.

Nelley, who grew up on a farm in his native New Zealand, spent the past 30 years dedicated to premium fresh produce across the globe. Now it’s time for a new challenge, Nelley said, in a news release.

Nelley called Apeel’s mission to reduce food waste through shelf life enhancements a “greater calling for anyone who’s involved in agriculture.”

“No only are we in this for the business opportunity, but everyone throughout the supply chain is a partner in meeting the global challenge of feeding the future sustainably,” he said. “To me, Apeel is the reason to be positive about the future of produce.”

Since it started pilots with avocados at U.S. retailers, Apeel says its technology has helped retail participants:

  • Reduce food waste in the avocado category 50% on average;
  • Increase margin as much as 65 percentage points; and
  • Increase sales 10% in the avocado category, despite inflation and other fluctuations.

The company has garnered a lot of interest both in the U.S. and on the international stage since it started pilots at Harps and Costco last summer. It was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, one of Time Magazine’s Genius Companies of 2018, and One of Six Technologies that Could Shake the Food World by the Wall Street Journal.

It also has attracted interest from industry talent, including Gordon Robertson and Natalie Shuman, previously with Sun World International, Mike Tucker, previously of Sakata Seed and Target, Chayla Balko, previously with Golden Sun Marketing and The Oppenheimer Group and Michele Visser, previously with Famous Software.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.